On Sunday night, Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America for 2014 in a televised ceremony.
Davuluri’s win marks the second time in a row a Miss New York has captured the crown. She becomes the first woman of Indian descent to hold the title, the Associated Press noted.
The latest Miss America praised the pageant organization for promoting diversity. The 24-year-old dismissed some Twitter commentary that negatively commented on her ethnic heritage by saying she would rise above such things. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American,” she told the press.
Her reign will start with a tour of the Jersey Shore boardwalk, which was devastated by a huge fire last week.
Davuluri hails from Syracuse, N.Y. She plans to use the $50,000 award that comes with her title to attend medical school. Her grandmother, who was delighted by the win, said that her family includes a large number of physicians in both India and the U.S.